Individual Research - Environmental Law

Enviro LLM/MSL Individual Research paper course description:

Individual Research (IR) papers in the Environmental Law LLM/MSL program provide students with the opportunity to gain greater knowledge about a specific area of environmental law that interests them, or that is not covered in the curriculum. Students engage in IR papers under the supervision of a LC faculty member. It is strongly recommended that students who have not written a law school style paper before, or recently, and who would benefit from updating or learning legal research skills, take the Legal Research: Environmental Law course concurrently with, or prior to, writing an IR paper.

An IR paper can qualify for one, two, or three semester hours of credit. The number of credits appropriate for a particular project depends on the complexity of the topic and the student’s planned approach and end product. The work anticipated must correspond with the time a student would spend preparing for and attending a class of similar credits. Some faculty will also expect a corresponding page number for the different credits. As part of their application to do an IR, the student must consult with their faculty supervisor, or the Director or Associate Director of the Environmental Law program, to confirm the number of credits appropriate for the project prior to registering for the credits. Students may choose to do a two credit Individual Research paper over one or two semesters. If a student opts for a 3 credit paper, they should plan on 2 semesters to complete the IR, unless they work out a one semester option with the assigned professor.
Students who register for the two-semester option may take their credits in either semester, or over two semesters, at their discretion. Students who choose the two-semester option will receive an extension (XT) in place of a grade at the end of the first semester. Once the paper is complete and graded, the student’s transcript will reflect that grade when grades are posted following the second semester.

The type of paper that can be written for an IR includes: a law review article style paper that proposes an approach or solution to a currently unresolved issue; a survey and analysis of a legal doctrine in one or more jurisdictions; drafting a mock merits or amicus brief for a pending case; or preparing materials that educate the public about a certain area of environmental law. The specific form of the IR paper will emerge from discussions between the student and the supervising faculty member.

Students interested in the IR option need to complete this form prior to registering. The Environmental Law Program Director or Associate Director will then consult with faculty to see who is interested and available to supervise the IR, and the student will then discuss the scope of the project with the supervising faculty, or the Director or Associate Director of the Environmental Law program, to confirm the appropriate amount of credits prior to registration.